How many times have you heard someone describing their company’s value proposition only to hear them spew out features and benefits of their services or products? Having a strong value prop is one key to making the “short list” when companies are searching online and need to narrow down their search before engaging.
That’s why your digital footprint (everything about you and your company found online) is critical to review and manage to better reflect what you do, who you are, and the values you bring.
Recently I got to spend the evening with Lisa Dennis, CEO and Founder of Knowledgence, co-author of 360 Degrees of the Customer and who is currently writing her next book. Lisa presented at the Portsmouth Hubspot Users Group about ways that our value propositions make potential buyers snore. It was a great presentation with Lisa bringing examples of companies that convey poor value propositions and others with clarity and strong value.
Lisa gives a very helpful presentation that covers:
• How to tune your message for buyers
• What the impact of a good value proposition has in making the short list
• How to shift from product / service to customer focused value props
• How to align your message to resonate
I particularly appreciated three points in her session: when she discussed that there are THREE types of value propositions (did you know that?), research on what buyers say make up weak value propositions, and what a good, strong value proposition should consist of.
When it comes to weak value propositions, the Knowledgence research suggests that buying teams found more than any other factor, vendors presented value propositions that were “not relevant to our needs” – in fact this was the case 49% of the time with poor value props.
Another factor was “no proof offered”.
This means that there are at least THREE things you can do immediately to improve how you present your offerings to potential buyers:
1) Work hard on how what you do IS relevant to your buyer. Make it applicable and if it isn’t, perhaps you are not the best fit and should let your prospective buyer know that. It’s like putting a round peg in a square hole. It won’t work.
2) Offer proof of your value. Do you have real customer testimonials on your website? It is one thing for us to talk ourselves up – we sure know how to do THAT in sales… but it is quite different and more powerful when others talk US up. This is a good time of the year to work on updated endorsements from past and current clients.
3) Finally, check out some of the great resources on the Knowledgence website, including dozens of articles about being more customer-focused, something we talk a lot about on this blog and find so many companies still missing the mark on.
Now is the time to review your value proposition and make sure it is helping you win, rather than helping you be excluded from even hearing about potential opportunities. Which is it for you?
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide and is a Top 25 Innovative Sales Blogger. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog for sales strategies, tactics, and tips.
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